DNA Leads to Aggravated Rape Conviction

Prosecutors in DA Charme Allen’s Major Crimes Unit obtained convictions against a man who raped an intoxicated woman.  David Lyndel Cochran, 49, was convicted of one count of Aggravated Rape, two counts of Rape, and one count of Aggravated Kidnapping.  Judge Steve Sword revoked the defendant’s bond and set the case for sentencing on May 26.

In a three-day trial, Assistant District Attorneys Hector Sanchez and Joe Welker explained to the jury that on August 25, 2019, Pero’s restaurant was closing its Emory Road location.  The restaurant staff was given access to the bar for a celebration.  The victim was a server at the restaurant and became extremely intoxicated, vomiting and passing out in the restaurant.  Cochran was a cook at the restaurant and offered to take the victim home.  The victim was carried to Cochran’s car.  Instead of taking her home, Cochran took the incapacitated victim to the Super 8 Motel off Emory Road.  While the victim was unable to give consent, Cochran raped her.  The next day, the victim felt pain and discomfort, but did not know what happened.  Knox County Sheriff’s Office Captain Steve Sanders began an investigation, interviewing witnesses and sending the victim to the Sexual Assault Center of East Tennessee where a sexual assault examination ultimately revealed Cochran’s DNA.

“This offender preyed upon a young woman when she was most vulnerable, but he has been held accountable thanks to the hard work of everyone involved in this case,” said DA Charme Allen.

Aggravated Rape is a Class A felony carrying a punishment of fifteen to twenty-five years in prison.  Aggravated Kidnapping is a Class B felony carrying a punishment of eight to twelve years.  At sentencing, prosecutors will ask for the maximum sentence of thirty-seven years to serve in prison without the possibility of parole.  Assistant Victim Witness Coordinator Veronica Fay aided in the prosecution of the case.   

If you have any questions, please contact Sean McDermott at 865-215-2515 or [email protected]. For more information about the District Attorney’s Office, visit our website at dag.knoxcountytn.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.